Human cysticercosis is infection with the larval stage of the pork tapeworm, Taenia solium. The adult form of the worm lives in the human intstine where it does no harm, but sheds segments called proglottides in the stools, from which eggs are expelled.The larva from the eggs can penetrate the wall of the mucosa and then enter the circulation system. It can then encyst in tissues where they mature into cysticerci. Symptoms differ depending on the location of the cysticerci. In the CNS the most common clinical picture is epilepsi.
Teania solium has a worldwide distribution, but is most common where sanitation is poor. Cysticercosis is endemic in Central and South America, Central and South Africa and the Southeast of Asia, and less frequent in the south and east of Europe. Most patients with cysticercosis in the industrialized nations have immigrated from endemic areas.
In our assignement we have focused on a few clinical cases from Norway. To enlight different aspects, both the disease itself and the life of the patient. We interviewed a girl and her family from Kambodia, who have immigrated to Norway. From this we found what a great impact the disease had had on their way of living. The patient suffers from seriouse epilepsi, loss of memory and psychological problems, and she has to be taken extra care of.
From our work we have seen that this disease is complex and many patiens have sequela even after treatment with antihelmintic drugs. Our aim is to make doctors more aware of this rare but important disease.